Guide to the Different Types of Equity Release Lifetime Mortgages



Welcome to our guide to the different types of equity release lifetime mortgages.  Equity release has become a popular option for homeowners looking to unlock the value of their property. Among the equity release options, lifetime mortgages stand out as a flexible and accessible choice. In this article, we will look into the different types of lifetime mortgages, exploring their features and benefits. By understanding the nuances of each type, homeowners can make informed decisions about which option suits their needs best.

The youngest applicant needs to 55 years old and the Lifetime Mortgage will need to be a first charge.  If you already have a mortgage or loan secured on the property this will need to be cleared using the new Lifetime Mortgage.

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1. Roll Up Lifetime Mortgages

Roll up lifetime mortgages are one of the most common types of equity release. These mortgages allow homeowners to release a lump sum or draw down amounts based on their age and the value of their property. They do not require monthly repayments. Instead, the interest accumulates over time and is repaid once you have passed away or gone into long term care.

Borrowers have the flexibility to get tax free money that can be used to top up their retirement income, fund home improvements, or pay for other financial commitments. The amount that can be released depends on the property value, the age of the borrower(s), and the loan to value ratio set by the lender.

However, it’s important to note that the interest on the loan adds up over time, meaning it will increase the overall amount owed. As a result, borrowers need to carefully consider the impact of this on their estate.

2. Draw down Lifetime Mortgages

Draw down lifetime mortgages provide homeowners with the flexibility to access their equity in stages, as and when needed. Instead of taking a lump sum upfront, borrowers can establish a cash reserve, from which they can draw funds over time.

Borrowers will have greater control over their finances. They have the ability to access funds gradually. This flexibility means only the interest charged on the released equity is accrued and ensures that borrowers only pay interest on the funds they have accessed.

The draw down feature of this type of lifetime mortgage is particularly helpful for individuals who are uncertain about their future needs. Whether they need to cover unexpected expenses, pay for medical care, or support their loved ones, draw down mortgages offer a solution for changing circumstances.

3. Interest Only Lifetime Mortgages

Interest only lifetime mortgages provide homeowners with a flexible approach to releasing equity while keeping control over the loan balance. With this type of mortgage, borrowers have to pay the interest payment on a monthly basis.

They operate on the principle that as long as the interest is paid, the original loan amount remains the same. This means that the loan will not increase as long as the interest payments are made.

One of the main benefits is the potential to preserve the equity in the property. By paying the interest payments, borrowers have the ability to control the growth of the loan. This is suitable for those who have a wish to leave an inheritance for their loved ones or wish to protect their assets for future financial needs.

Borrowers must have a source of income to cover the interest payments for the term of the mortgage. Additionally, borrowers need to be aware that if they are unable to make the interest payments as agreed, there may be consequences such as the loan switching to a roll up mortgage or the property being at risk of repossession.

4. Enhanced Lifetime Mortgages

Enhanced lifetime mortgages will suit individuals who have specific health conditions or lifestyle factors that may potentially impact their life expectancy. This type of mortgage allows borrowers to release a larger amount of equity based on their circumstances. By considering these factors, lenders can offer enhanced terms compared to standard lifetime mortgages.  Some may also offer a reduction in the interest rate charged.

Factors that can affect life expectancy might include medical conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, or a history of smoking. Lenders take into account these factors when determining the loan amount, as they have a direct impact on the overall risk profile.

To be eligible, borrowers must meet specific criteria based on their health and lifestyle. This typically involves a health assessment, which may include a medical questionnaire. The lender will normally request a GP’s letter so this may delay the application process slightly.

The loan amount is influenced by the severity of the specific health conditions or lifestyle factors. This means that individuals with more serious health conditions may be able to release a larger sum of equity.

5. Inheritance Protection Lifetime Mortgages

For homeowners concerned about protecting a portion of their property’s value for inheritance purposes, inheritance protection lifetime mortgages offer a solution. These mortgages provide an option to ring fence a specific percentage of the property’s value, ensuring it is preserved as an inheritance. We will explore the features and benefits of this option, as well as the potential trade offs that borrowers should take into account.

By ring fencing a certain percentage of the property value then you are guaranteeing that share for your beneficiaries when you pass away and the mortgage becomes due.  The downside is this may mean you will only be able to borrow a smaller amount. This is where your adviser can help navigate the different options

6. Choosing the Right Type of Lifetime Mortgage

Choosing the right type of lifetime mortgage is a decision that requires careful consideration of several factors.

Assess whether you need a lump sum upfront, regular draw down payments, or the flexibility to access funds as and when required. If you have financial commitments or a clear purpose for the funds, a lump sum mortgage might be more suitable. On the other hand, if you prefer a regular income to top up your retirement, draw downs may be preferable.

Flexibility is another crucial factor. Decide how important it is for you to have the ability to draw down funds in stages, rather than taking a lump sum upfront. Draw down lifetime mortgages can reduce the interest accrual since you only pay interest on the funds you have accessed.

If preserving a portion of your property’s value for inheritance is a priority, you might consider options like inheritance protection mortgages. These allow you to ring fence a portion of the property’s value.

Long term care may also be another area to consider.  By releasing funds from your property you are reducing your estate for future care fees and this may limit your choice of care home if you were to enter care.

In summary, choosing the right type of lifetime mortgage involves evaluating the desired loan, flexibility, long term financial goals, and seeking expert advice. By carefully assessing these factors, you can make an informed decision that fits with your needs and objectives. Remember, there are long term effects too so it is crucial to invest time in research.

7. Making an Informed Decision

Making an informed decision about lifetime mortgages is vital for homeowners. Long term financial planning and potential risks should be carefully assessed.

Seeking professional advice from qualified equity release specialists is highly recommended to ensure an informed, decision making process.

Only once you have all the information are you really in a position to make an informed decision.  You may decide to have your children or beneficiaries sit in on the appointments or maybe a close friend or relative.

Once you agree to progress and submit the application there shouldn’t be anything that comes as a shock or a surprise to you. Your adviser should be there every step of the way with you from initial appointment until the applications completes.



Lifetime mortgages offer homeowners the opportunity to unlock the value of their property and enhance their financial well being. By understanding the different types of lifetime mortgages available, borrowers can make informed decisions based on their individual circumstances.  Hopefully this guide to the different types of equity release lifetime mortgages will help you get a better idea of what options are available.  Feel free to go to our “Blog Page” where there are other articles which you may also find helpful.  Alternatively please feel free to contact us for any further information.

This is a lifetime mortgage. To understand the features and risks, please ask for a personalised illustration. Check that this mortgage will meet your needs if you want to move or sell your home or you want your family to inherit it. If you are in any doubt, seek independent advice.  There may be a fee for advising on Equity Release Lifetime Mortgages. This will be a maximum of £995 on completion.  Reynolds Financial is a trading style of The Later Life Lending Network Ltd, an appointed Representative of the Right Mortgage Network ltd which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Registered in England and Wales no. 09832887. Registered address is 70 St Johns Close, Knowle, Solihull, B93 0NH. Estate planning is not regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.